Published May 16, 2011
Winding through some farm country on a backroad in Oregon in search of tulip fields, I found myself in the midst of acres and acres of orchards. The trees had freshly sprouted leaves that had that dazzling color of green one only sees in spring. I knew I had to stop. But there was no place to pull over. So, finally, when I passed a dirt road leading into a farm, I slowed to a stop, backed up, and pulled in. I hadn’t seen a soul for miles, and it was obviously private property. I could hear a tractor in the distance and saw a farmhouse in the next field. Should I chance it? Resolving to be quick about it, I locked up the car, walked across the road and hopped the low electric fence.
I walked into a magical land of green. There were flowers blooming underfoot and birds singing overhead. I spent some time soaking it all up – crawling around in the dirt and taking my photos — finally beginning to feel the weight of the long winter begin to fall away. For those few moments, I was enveloped in pure beauty.
Reluctantly I headed back to my car; I still had a lot of miles to cover that day. And sure enough, as I approached my car, my chest tightened a little when I spotted an SUV with tinted windows waiting in front of my car and blocking the road. They let me go nicely after I finally convinced them that I really did just like the pretty trees so much I wanted to photograph them. In the end I was informed that these were filbert trees and pointed to a different location down the road that they were quite sure would be more photogenic.
All’s well that ends well, but be careful where you stop while traveling the backroads of Oregon. :)